The latest Testimonies
“My name is Colby Griffin and I am 17 years old and last week I was blessed enough to be able to spend a week with Gary Pate and his great team of local Ecuadorians. This was my first mission trip out of the country and it was absolutely amazing. I would tell you my favorite part but I can’t choose just one. One of the things that did touch me the most was at one of the clubs. A little boy of 2-3 was eating his crackers and when he saw I didn’t have any he looked at me, then at his cracker, then back at me, and he broke his last cracker in half and offered it to me. To see how little these children have but how willing to share they are is very different from modern day American children. We led a club on a dirt floor, we had people standing outside because there was no more room inside. And seeing the children’s faces and how excited they were to learn about the Gospel really touched me. I believe that the lord may be calling me into the mission field, I plan on going back in March for three weeks to get a real feel for it and I’m already excited!”
Amy McCurry Byrd (Pastor's Wife) "To summarize a week of missions in Ecuador...
We’ve been back a week. It has taken a while to begin the process of how to articulate a bit about this week- glimpses.
-First, Gary and Dena Pate are passionate about reaching as many children (and families) as possible in as many remote villages as humanly feasible with the gospel of Christ. The Pate’s along with their “E Team” (Ecuadorian team) demonstrate the love of Jesus in a multitude of self sacrificial ways . They are extremely organized, gracious hosts that spoil visitors, and they do everything in their power to prepare the teams spiritually and otherwise. I can’t say enough about the ministry they tirelessly do day in and day out.
-Ecuador 🇪🇨 itself is breathtakingly beautiful. Loved seeing fresh views of God’s ongoing masterpiece.
-The food - oh my. Sooo good. Definitely added poundage on the trip. 😋
-The children live in conditions in which I truly can’t imagine living, and the villages we visited are only seen once per month. Many children walk for an hour (some longer) to come to the Bible Club. Many recited a memory verse for a small bag of candy. Did I mention they only see these kids once a month. To a teacher, it means a month to forget the verse they were taught. What a blessing to see them come!! 🙌
-I am so proud and honored to have the opportunity to share this experience with a crew that simply wanted to be a blessing and bring glory to God. Truly, not a word of complaint was heard. Love these guys and gals. ♥️
-Thankful sea-bands work so well. Traveling in the mountains for hours each day had the potential to be quite miserable for me and anyone else who struggles with motion sickness, but they (and prayer) worked as advertised. "
This was my first mission trip out of the states, and my first international flight. Nothing could have prepared me for the amazing blessing that was waiting for us at the onset of our trip. With our small group of 7, we got to work with Gary and Dena, and their wonderful Ecuadorian team, as we ministered to children and adults in the areas around Cuenca, Ecuador. Getting to go to those house churches and Bible clubs scattered throughout the Andes mountains felt like walking through the New Testament on the heels of Paul. God is doing amazing things in this remote portion of the world with a humble couple from my hometown of Callahan, FL. The harvest that God will reap out of Ecuador from the seeds He is sowing through Pate Ministries will be one more thing I can't wait to see when I get to Heaven.
I'll never forget the way the Holy Spirit spoke to me while I was in Ecuador and how each day, being saturated in His work, gave me a hyper focus for His plan. On the last morning of our trip in Cuenca, while I was standing by the open window of our room, I yet again heard the boom of one of the church canons in the city. Each morning, one or more of the +50 churches in
Cuenca fire off a canon to represent/commemorate some saint or religious figurehead for that day. This booming of the canon(s) explains clearly the need for the ministry God has placed on the hearts of Gary and Dena.
1 Peter 5:8 (ESV) Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary
the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
While Ecuador is very religious, the understanding that Jesus is Lord and wants a personal relationship with each and every person is heretical.
Where the main religion teaches you must pray to saints, statues, shrines and do works to hopefully be good enough to get into Heaven, God is using the voices of Gary and Dena to speak the name of Jesus to those who know the name, but not the Son. God Bless!
North Jacksonville Baptist Church
My Ecuadorian Experience with “Gary, Gary my favorite missionary” and “Dena, Dena the bestest historina”
I was recently privileged to lead a team of 7 to Ecuador to work with Pate Ministries. It was a wonderful experience – not just having the opportunity to minister to the children but a time to come away and be separate – time to be alone with God and to truly reflect on all the ways God has blessed me and to share rich devotion times with my team and with Gary and Dena.
I will never forget the faces of the children nor will I ever forget to pray that the Spirit of God will invade their lives and the lives of their families. I was deeply touched by the commitment of the local churches but also by their great need. To know that God has chosen to use a couple from Callahan, FL to touch the lives of hundreds of children in a faraway place on a weekly and monthly basis is an example of His wondrous plan in the lives of surrendered followers.
The most important lesson learned: You cannot create a Spanish word by simply taking the English word and placing an “O” on the end of it! J
I recently had the opportunity to join a group of seven from our church to be apart of the Pate's ministry in Ecuador. If you have a heart for children or to bring more souls in the kingdom, I would recommend you join a mission team to Ecuador. The Ecuadorians in the Andes mountains have so little but are so gracious. You truly see what it is like to be the hands and feet of Jesus. Gary and Dena have such a heart for these people. In addition, they truly take care of their missionary teams that come to work along side of them. What are you waiting for? Prepare your heart, pray for Gary & Dena, pray that more Ecuadorians will accept Jesus, and stop making excuses-be the hands and feet of Jesus. Be blessed!
North Jacksonville Baptist Church
Associate Pastor (Pastoral Ministries)
904-757-3000 x 311
I had the privilege to lead a team that spent one week serving alongside Gary & Dena Pate in Ecuador. It was a life changing
experience. Gary & Dena organized a week that maximized ourtrue Gospel of Jesus Christ. They are changing lives by meeting physical and spiritual needs. Our church will continue to send teams to work with Gary & Dena. We are proud to be partners with Pate Ministries.
Wife & Mother
Woodstock Baptist Church
What a week!!! Thanks to Gary and Dena for a meaningful mission experience, combined with unforgettable cultural experiences! To anyone considering a foreign mission trip, I highly recommend this organization! Perfect for families, small/large church groups, even individuals or couples. You can message them directly if you have any questions.
Pastor Corey J. Cheramie
Gary and Dena Pate are being used mightily by the Lord in their work with the Children of Ecuador. My Missions Director and I were able to spend a week with them observing, serving, and working alongside of them this past August. While planning to work in the jungle, God had other plans for the Pates. He moved them to this beautiful eclectic city called Cuenca in the Andes Mountains. Gary and Dena have established Children’s and Youth Bible Clubs all over this region reaching hundreds of children and their families on a weekly basis. Seeing the work first hand, we know our financial support is being put to great use. We are more than excited to bring a team next year.
Jonesville Baptist Church
"I just wanted to send a thank you for all of that you and Dena are doing. I have led many teams on mission trips to all parts of the world and it was a pleasure to work with the two of you. It was exciting to see your team so God centered on fulfilling the Great Commission. I was also impressed with the organization of your ministry. The two of you are undoubtedly Christ led, which makes everything exciting. I am looking forward to sending teams to work with you in the future. God bless you and thank you."
Rev. Blake Clark
Pastor, Radius Church
St Petersburg, Florida
“It is powerful to see how Gary and Dena are influencing communities by loving children in the mountains of Ecuador. What a privilege I had to witness and be a part of how they love through Bible clubs. Our church looks forward to continue partnering with them in their vibrant God-given mission.”
Rev. Shannon Kelley
Pastor, Everetts Baptist Church
Everetts, North Carolina
“Gary and Dena are not only dear friends of mine, they are definitely called to serve God in Ecuador. I have been to Ecuador twice and each time I have seen their dedication and professionalism in missional work. Their ministry in Ecuador is paramount and it is laid upon the rock of salvation Jesus Christ. Helping the children and their parents understand the true Jesus that is to be worshipped is a calling that Gary and Dena are taking seriously. I am looking forward to our next mission trip to Ecuador to see all that God is continuing to do there.”